by Eric Hendrixson
Even as a child he was like that. In school, during the class on fractions, he told the nun she was a liar and refused to listen. He was suspended for a week. He said, “You can’t have anything part-way.” When October came, he dressed up like a dictator for Halloween.
The Gypsy woman, really Mrs. Robbins from Cameron Street with a quilt on her hips and beads, squinted at his hand. She traced the lines with her index finger, said: “Two careers, three children, a long, safe, happy life, one marriage. Your talent is a slight buff at your pinky finger. The lines do not run deep.”
He left his candy sack in the living room. That night, nobody heard him sneak downstairs. It wasn’t until morning that his mother missed the paring knife. Even at the hospital, he refused to show the doctor his newly-lined palm.
Eric Hendrixson’s first book is Bucket of Face. His most recent publication, “The Ninja’s Wife”, appears in Fireside Press’ Wishful Thinking anthology, which comes out this Monday. He recently moved to Chicago, where he is developing a new appreciation for hot dogs. “I can’t explain it,” he says. “They’re just better here.”
by Steve Shroyer
I remember when I heard Michael Jackson died; I was coming home from my job as a telemarketer when my mom told me the news. Personally I felt indifferent, as at this point I was experimenting with electronic music and classic rock and to me MJ’s music was too commercial. But for those of us who grew up during his heyday he was the next best thing since sliced bread. It is probably why when I read Eric Hendrixxon’s “Bucket of Face” I found myself laughing and also understanding I was in on a joke that few would get.
“Bucket” Tells the story of Charles, a doughnut shop night clerk who dreams of better cigarettes and a better life for his girlfriend (a sentient kiwi fruit). It is when he witnesses a shootout between two Mafia members (who also happen to be sentient fruit, in this case, a banana and an apple) who leave behind a briefcase of money and the titular bucket that he finds his ticket to a better (and flavor country filled) life. There is a catch though. There is a Tomato hit-man who wants what he has and will stop at nothing to get it.
Right off the bat Hendrixson does not spend a lot of time giving you a backstory on how the fruit in the story became able to walk and talk. Instead he pushes us headlong into the universe he has created and does not pull the brakes until the final page has rolled. The book is also laugh out loud funny in a Douglas Adams, Robert Rankin, Terry Pratchett sort of way. It is this off kilter sense of storytelling, that makes this book a must read for all Bizarro fans.
For a first effort, Hendrixson does not show a single iota of worthlessness. His prose is quick, snappy and quirky. My only complaint is that it ended. So, if you want a fun read for that short break between classes or that bus ride to that convention, get this book. Bravo, Eric, and here’s hope for a sequel!
by Eric Hendrixson
There’s a town where all the ugly women go, slipping away at different times. Some, retreating from a high school dance, walk alone to the parking lot, to an ugly brown station wagon, taking a right after the post office, down the street that only the postman returns from. Some women get there late, smelling of smoke and stale beer, gin, bourbon and used latex. Some come in taffeta dresses or cotton housecoats, some in rolled up jeans, some scarred and naked, but most of them show up in sweats.
The postman says the streets are empty in the town of ugly women, but he delivers catalogs, magazines, and boxes from all over the world. He never carries any letters back. Soft voices whisper every time he leaves, and to this day he’s never looked behind him.
After sunset in the town of ugly women, they light a fire in the broken fountain outside of city hall, using a stack of bridesmaid’s dresses, self-help books, and returned Valentines, keeping the flames up with hairspray and control girdles. And a lot of the ugly women were in band, so some nights they play their flutes and clarinets, their oboes and tubas, their bass drums and trombones, and you can hear it all the way over to where everyone else lives.
And nobody knows what the song is, but the music plays all night, a mix of instruments with nobody conducting. And when the ugly women dance, their shadows paint the mountains. The moon hangs horned, burnt orange in the sky. They stamp archaic patterns in the earth. They spread their arms and raise their lips to laugh. The fire paints their shadow on the mountains. Their bodies sweat like petals in the rain.
These nights, the pretty women tie their husbands to their beds. The husbands kick and scream until morning comes. They seal their son’s ears off with candle wax. They lock the doors and keep the shutters closed.
Eric Hendrixson is the author of Bucket of Face. You can visit him at his website, aptly titled “Frying the Cat.”
Greetings Smutzarros, I’m Cam Kirkeron. No, you don’t recognize me, I’m not someone famous. I am but a simple man on a crusade. You’ve clearly landed on this webpage because you got distracted from your daily pornography searches. I’m here on this digital den of sin and vice because I am in possession of certain photographical evidence depicting the administrators of this website in compromising positions. Hence, my appearance in this most unlikely of pulpits.
I had the misfortune of becoming aware of this “genre” of “literature” through the work of one Steve Lowe, whose quote-unquote book “Muscle Memory” goes to great lengths to slander several well-known and morally-astute celebrities with lies, innuendo and crude toilet humor. Normally, I let this sort of thing slide off my back and pray that the hearts and minds of such wayward sheep will one day be shepherded back into His Heavenly fold.
But this egregious affront to decency and wholesomeness known as Bizarro fiction simply cannot stand any longer. Of particular note is this offshoot of Smutzarro that calls itself “The New Bizarro Author Series”. What twisted mind thought up this crude form of hazing, unleashing desperate losers into the world to harass and harangue decent folk into sullying their hearths and hearts with the mere presence of such distasteful, disgusting, damaging material, all for the sake of earning a contract to create even more filth? According to my detailed investigation of the matter, one Kevin Donihe can be held most accountable.
Take this current batch of NBAS swill. They have the nerve to call themselves the Magnificent Seven, though I’d be shocked to learn if any of them can count that high. Seven books of such atrocious subject matter, such that I can hardly describe. But for the good of decency on the Internet, I will soldier forward and do just that, detailing the lowlights of these filth-filled tomes.
First you have Eric Hendrixson’s “Bucket of Face”. This piece of pseudo fiction glorifies the life of a known sex offender and explicitly depicts an act of sexual congress between a man and a Kiwi fruit. Imagine your children getting their hands on this “Bucket of Sin”. This Hendrixson character has also gone so far as to offer cheap swag on Facebook to anyone who will “Like” his trash. So add bribery to his long list of flaws.
Then there’s Nicole Cushing’s “How to Eat Fried Furries”. Religion-hating, British-Comedy-imitating, hack-television-script-writing, indecipherable noise slapped onto paper. Trees died to make this thing come to life. And all this from a seemingly nice woman. Shocking to see members of the fairer sex involved in this depravity.
But not as shocking as this next entry, from fresh-faced youngster, Kirsten Alene. “Love in the Time of Dinosaurs” is about evil dinosaurs (devil lizards? OK, I can see that), indestructible monks (members of the clergy with super powers bestowed upon them by a higher authority? Yeah, I can get behind that!), and a forbidden love affair betwixt the two. Wait, what? Oh, Ms. Alene, what a shame. You were actually going somewhere, but then you fell on the crutch of the weak: violence, vulgar language and forbidden relations between species. What must your mother think?
When it comes to Caris O’Malley, I am of the opinion that he was not born to a proper mother – clearly he is the spawn of the Dark Lord, hatched from an egg just like in his book “The Egg Said Nothing”. Time-traveling loser repeatedly beats himself to death with a shovel, all the while cursing a blue streak and fornicating with a tramp? The O’Malley clearly says nothing of substance or value to humanity with this hot garbage.
But he’s not even the worst one. This Kirk Jones guy wrote a story about couches having… well, I just can’t bring myself to type such a thing. Reading “Uncle Sam’s Carnival of Copulating Inanimals” is like riding a bullet train straight to Hell. And Jones is in the engineer’s seat, using a noble charity to help disseminate his furniture fornication (I hereby dub the term DavenPorn) to the world.
Of course, DavenPorn pales in comparison to the unholy tripe authored by James Steele. “Felix and the Sacred Thor” is the most disgusting, demented and disturbed offering of the lot, glorifying the use of huge animal (I shudder to even consider this word) dildos as weapons, and the ritual sodomizing of America’s retail workforce (haven’t those people suffered enough?). A tenth circle of Hell awaits you, Mr. Steele.
And that brings us back to the beginning, and in my opinion, the worst of the lot. Steve Lowe’s Muscle Memory does not go to the extremes of James “the Damned” Steele, or Kirk “The Devil is in Mr.” Jones. And that’s what makes it so insidious and dangerous. I’ll confess that I snicker at the occasional fart joke like anyone else, but hear this: No one makes fun of Kirk Cameron and Terry Bradshaw on my watch! Help me rid the world of this trash. Burn it and light the night sky with our cleansing flames. Fire shall make you new again.
Now, go be productive and stop surfing for porn, or you’ll end up like one of these Smutzarros.